Player on the Black Keys
Tony MacMahon (Photo: Lucy Clarke)

Player on the Black Keys

In an extract from a memoir in progress, musician Tony MacMahon remembers moments of inspiration, captivation – and terror.

 If ever you stroll down Capel Street with your arse to the Liffey and your belly to Bolton Street, you will come to the smallest shop in Dublin, the last but one on your left. The Horse Shoe at number 85 is a Polish breadshop today, the facade in buttercup yellow and the inside awash with the smell of freshly-baked bread. But from 1946 until 1989 it was where the late John Kelly from west Clare ran a small business, reared a family and held court to three generations of traditional musicians.

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Published on 1 January 2009

Tony MacMahon is a traditional musician and former television producer in RTÉ, where he produced The Pure Drop, The Green Linnet, Aisling Gheal, The Long Note, The Blackbird and the Bell and many other series. He has made two solo recordings, Tony MacMahon (1972) and MacMahon from Clare (2000), and recorded I gCnoc na Graí (1985) with Noel Hill and Aislingí Ceoil (1994) with Noel Hill and Iarla Ó Lionáird.

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